The deadly Ebola outbreak in Congo is now an international health emergency, the World Health Organization announced on Wednesday after the virus spread this week to a city of two million people .
A WHO expert committee had declined on three previous occasions to advise the United Nations health agency to make the declaration for
this outbreak, which other experts say has long met the conditions. More than 1,600 people have died since August in the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, which is unfolding in a region described as a war zone.
This week the first Ebola case was confirmed in Goma, a major regional crossroads in northeastern Congo on the Rwandan border with an international airport. Health experts have feared this scenario for months.